Sam Durant to Dismantle Gallows Sculpture in Minneapolis

May 31st, 2017

Following several protests and vocal criticism, artist Sam Durant will remove a sculpture depicting a gallows from the Walker Art Center sculpture park.  The work, originally conceived as a critique of racist executions and state-sponsored killings in the United States, particularly the execution of 38 Dakota men by the U.S. Government, saw fierce protest from Dakota residents in Minneapolis, ultimately leading Durant to dismantle the work.  “Whites created the concept of race and have used it to maintain dominance for centuries, whites must be involved in its dismantling,” he said in an emailed statement. “However, your protests have shown me that I made a grave miscalculation in how my work can be received by those in a particular community.  In focusing on my position as a white artist making work for that audience I failed to understand what the inclusion of the Dakota 38 in the sculpture could mean for Dakota people. I offer my deepest apologies for my thoughtlessness.”

Read the Walker Art Center’s response